Blisters While Hiking: Prevention and Treatment
Moisture and heat, your worst enemy. In life, there are some things you can prevent, and there are things you can’t. How you deal with these situations will most definitely change the outcome. Nobody has ever said to themselves that they love the feeling of a blister rubbing on the backside of their foot while they are hiking. So we’re going to talk about the ins and outs of preventing and treating blisters. If this is something you hate dealing with, read on for some useful tips!
TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT BLISTERS
Allergies, Skin conditions, or even burns. These are the most common causes of blisters. The most common of all though is friction. Enough of this in just one place for a long enough time will cause your skin to blister. The blister itself is a red fluid-filled pocket of skin on the surface. This means that your capillaries have sustained damage. Once this has happened there is no turning back. There are ways to treat or prevent this. For more info on some products that can help you out check our guide on the best blister treatments.
First, let’s talk about the most common factors that cause blisters. Number one will be the pressure required. If there is a tight spot within your clothing, most likely your feet, where there is enough friction on a pressure point, that is an issue. So, if you are looking for a great pair of hiking shoes, click here!
Now adding moisture to this mixture is where you will start to experience discomfort. Moisture causes the skin to become softer which will make it more susceptible to blisters when friction is in a key factor. Another thing to consider is direct friction. Anywhere where force rubs against your skin will most likely cause a blister. A most common place for this is the heels of your feet within your boots or shoes. You can read our blog on How to Choose Shoes for Hiking to learn more as this is one way to prevent blisters. Once the epidermis (outer layer of skin) separates, space will fill with fluid, causing a blister.
Once there is a blister, there is no turning back. This is something that you will have to learn to deal with. In the case the timing doesn’t line up with your outdoor activities, your fun in the sun can be cut short. If the blister itself is causing you discomfort and needs to be taken care of, there are steps to treating the blisters. Try to make a small incision in the middle of the blister to let the fluid drain out, you can then let it dry out on its own. Just keep it covered with a bandage or gauze pad.
There is, however, a way around this. Simple steps taken to prevent blisters is the best place to start. Nip that blister in the butt before it even shows its true colors. Prevention is all about being aware of the possibilities and being vigilant to take the necessary steps. The most commonplace of blisters for an avid hiker is on the feet. Several factors can cause this but also many steps that can be taken to prevent this. The easiest question to ask is do your boos fit properly? Making sure they fit the way they are supposed to will do a great deal. To avoid awkward pressure points or friction in these places then proper fitting hiking boots are the best way to go.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOCKS
The other most common thing to consider is your hiking socks. If you’re out and about, the best thing you can do is avoid cotton. This material retains moisture which as we said before is the beginning of the end for your feet under the right conditions. A synthetic blend is your best bet. If that is not something you can do another way around this is a liner sock. An extra layer between your skin and your regular socks can help with the prevention of moisture build-up. If neither of these is up to your ally, then consider just straight-up changing your socks.
When its time for a fresh pare just hang your sock on the back of your hiking bag and let them dry out and swap them out when the next pare gets a little too moist.
Of course, the best way to deal with a blister is to just avoid them altogether. Dealing with the hot spots before they have a chance to blister can be a lifesaver. This will require you to pay close attention to your body and the places on your body that blisters can form. In most cases, you will notice when a particular area starts to hurt form the constant pressure and rubbing. If you experience this then attacking the issue head on the best way to go. Once you realize the forming of a blister then we heave a few steps to help prevent further issues.
The easiest and cheapest way around this is athletic tape. You can tear a piece of tape to the size you require and simply apply it to the area you wish to prevent blisters on. The tape is especially effective when placing properly, and can save you a lot of pain and agony. From medical tape to plain old duct tape this method works very well. If you have the extra coin, you could purchase a blister kit. This will contain everything you could need for the treatment and prevention of these painful little soars.
There you have it, our quick pro tips on dealing with blisters. Of course, there are other methods that we may have not mention, so don’t be afraid to do your research. Do you have any great ideas that we didn’t mention? Comment below and share with our community so we can all stay well informed!